If you’ve been following our mini blog series on moodboarding for the Edinburgh New Town property you’ll know we’re moving onto the main living spaces! Don’t worry if you missed our last post on the bedroom dilemma, you can catch up here.
An essential element to keep in mind when designing a space is its function. That’s not to say we sacrifice beauty for utility (never!) but in a perfect world, the two are partners in crime. Setting out on this project, Lorraine had to carefully consider how each room within the flat would be used – a particularly important exercise when it comes to the living spaces in a family home!
The Edinburgh flat has two very different living spaces. The first is located on a corner towards the back of the flat. It has lovely south facing double windows and the group felt it would be a perfect spot to relax with a cup of tea in the morning. Affectionately to be known as the ‘morning room’, it will be a flexible multi purpose space – a relaxing lounging room for watching TV in your pjs, a quiet room, a guest room and also a study.
The Morning Room
Lorraine envisions an eclectic space with a relaxed feel where the family can show their collection of art as they start to build it over time. Full of layers and texture with bold pattern and colourful details, the idea is that it should be stylish and interesting with an informal atmosphere. She imagined somewhere where guest or the family can break away from the main activities of the group to play cards, read a book or chat over a glass of whisky. Breakout spaces are especially important in this flat as so many people will be using it often at the same time.
The morning room will be an intriguing space – if a guest stayed the night, their eye might be drawn in to an unexpected artefact on a shelf or wonder about the cinematic black and white photography on the walls. After a few drams, they might decide to climb the ladder of the soon-to-be bespoke library (made to fit the awkward space behind the door) to sing a song to the empty room or maybe just reach for a grand looking book. The lighting proposed for the morning room reminded Lorraine of the unfurling pages of a manuscript referencing the literary background of Edinburgh. Text may also be brought into the artworks as the family adds to the space, including warm accents and subtle drops of colour in the accessories.
The Sitting Room
The second living space also faces the front of the building but the group wanted a slightly more formal living room for entertaining guests. A ‘wow’ space with a dose of theatre and a smattering of sophistication and elegance that would lend itself to parties but still function as a family room.
The room is an elongated rectangle with the fireplace offset, which creates a natural divide in the space. The grand scale of the room also makes it impractical to only have one arrangement of seating, so Lorraine created two zones. The family space will focus on the fireplace but behind it will be a more casual breakout space with leather club chairs and a small bar console with vintage barware – a little wink to the Gatsby era of the roaring 20’s. A window seat running the full length of the Georgian bay window provides additional seating and may well end up being a a little stage for impromptu debates at the end of the evening or for lounging along on a Sunday afternoon whilst reading a book.
In such a large space with tremendously high ceilings, the lighting was fundamental to Lorraine’s design. It had to make a statement as a sculptural artwork in itself. Similarly, a bespoke rug will be sourced to fit the giant floor space with faded Modernist geometrics . Lorraine wanted to balance formality with a homely, fun feel by including luxurious products as well as more affordable, high street pieces.
Finally, we’re returning to the beauty versus utility debate with emphatic proof that it is, in fact, possible to have both (phew). In the morning room, the group opted for a slimline TV that will double as an artwork during the day. In the sitting room, however, the group didn’t want a television to be visible when it wasn’t in use. Lorraine recommended having a bespoke cabinet made that will allow the TV to disappear when not in use and compliment the art deco inspired features of the room.
Coming soon…drum roll…the bathrooms!